I Love You. Now Change.

I Love You. Now Change.

Everyone wants their partner to change.

“Why can’t he be more romantic?”
“If only we had more sex [hotter sex; less sex; any sex], I’d have no complaints.”
“I just want her to make me a priority.”

In my (gasp) 22-year career, the one constant among my clients is that each has believed with every fiber of her being that the key to her relationship success rested in her partner’s willingness to change.

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Doom and Gloom: Dealing With A Chronic Complainer

Doom and Gloom: Dealing With A Chronic Complainer

Dear Dr. Darcy: I have a close friend who complains about her life constantly.  She’s in a bad relationship (or none at all), she’s underutilized at work, she’s fat, ugly, still in love with an ex – you name it, she’s annoyed by it. Some of it’s true (not her being ugly) but she doesn’t do anything to change those things. It’s to the point where when I see her name pop up on my phone, I ask myself if I’m feeling strong enough to withstand her negativity without it sucking the life out of me. I feel guilty because she’s never done anything to hurt me, but when faced with having to see her, I find myself wishing I’d get the stomach flu to have an excuse to cancel. Am I an asshole?

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Divorcing The Drama Queen  

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Dear Dr. Darcy:

My best friend always has her panties in a twist over someone or something. She’s always fighting with one of our friends, always pissed off at someone or causing someone to get mad at her. She shares her business (aka, talks shit) with anyone who will listen and almost never asks about anyone else’s life. I’ve seen about six friends part ways with her in the two years that we’ve been very close and I’m beginning to see why they do it (I’m a slow learner). I really think I finally need some distance from her. Is it wrong to end a friendship because it’s draining?

ANSWER

People either fuel your life or suck the fuel out of your life – they either contribute or they take away. Your BFF sounds like my worst nightmare. But be warned: You don’t want to become the next focal point of her drama, so the way you handle this is very important.

There’s no need to make declarative announcements such as I’ve decided we can’t be best friends anymore because that sort of statement will provoke a tsunami of drama from Drama. Find yourself busy more often than not. Cut your outreach down by half, then again in half in a month. Repeat until you have enough distance that you can breathe.

Now that we’ve solved that issue, it’s time to ponder why you were attracted to this type of person, and in particular, how you came to choose her as a best friend. The answer to this question will illuminate data about you – not her. We attract like-minded people into our lives and repel those who are incongruent. If you don’t excavate this issue, you’ll find yourself in a relationship with a new person with whom you’ll have similar problems, so get to work. It’s all about you.

Writer’s Stats: Male, Gay.